Re: Orca Quiting orca
- From: Henrik Nilsen Omma <henrik ubuntu com>
- To: Orca-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: Orca Quiting orca
- Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2006 19:07:44 +0100
Rich Burridge wrote:
Using record_keystrokes.py, I "recorded" Insert-Space being typed, into
a file. It's called "show_preferences" and a copy is attached to this
I bet you could easily hook all this up to launch via the #2 menu item
Great! That gives us some options for that one.
Key bindings like Insert-q are not very accessible to GUI-trained
non-technical Ubuntu users :) Esp. when it's not well documented in
the OS itself.
Couple of things here.
1/ Mike Pedersen has told me that the special keystrokes we are using
should be familiar to users of other screen readers. I just went to
look at what
Sorry I was being a bit obtuse here :) Let me take a few steps back.
We are dealing with users with a wide range of abilities here, more or
less able to do different things. None of us can read the data directly
from the magnetic platers of the HD so we all need the computers to help
us out in various ways. Whether we are disabled or not (in the context
of using the computer) all depends on how well it is configured for us.
Personally, I have a minor motor impairment, which I generally get
around by using sticky keys.
When I wrote 'GUI-trained' users I was mainly thinking of non-visually
impaired users, but I'll admit that I was being unclear (so I'm erring
on the side of verbosity in this clarification).
Obviously Orca is written for visually impaired users. The main
development effort has gone into the screen reader part because that's
where a change of paradigm was due, and magnification has been added in
largely as it was. So you may ask why am I going on and on about
non-disabled users? Surely they can manage well enough without our help.
Well, yes and no.
In Ubuntu we are hoping to eventually reach out to many new user groups
who have not traditionally used Linux. This includes existing
Windows-users, but also the elderly, the very young, people who have
never used computers before, etc. For this to work the default install
needs to be usable for all these groups and preferably not have jagged
From this point of view the assistive tools need to play nice with the
rest of the default desktop. A very inexperienced computer user needs to
be able to explore the desktop without running into nasty surprises.
With the original way Orca was set up on Edgy, this user might start
Orca talking during the course of general desktop exploration, and not
be able to turn it off again. Worse, AT-SPI would be set to start each
time on boot, with it's hidden quirks, bugs and resource use. The
desktop would seem a bit more broken to that person. Of course this is
not the core user group for Orca, but it is one of the key target groups
for distros like Ubuntu.
In the course of working on this topic for the past year and a bit now,
I've become convinced that the best way to improve provisions of
assistive technology is to integrate it with the main stream as closely
as possible, and that will always require flexibility on both sides.
Attempts have been made at making purpose-built derivatives with
enhanced access support, including Oralux and our own derivative of
Hoary. But these always lead to fragmentation, lack of maintenance and
lack of general useful features. When we managed to get some basic
access support into dapper we made an important step IMO, getting on the
default track where we are carried along by the efforts of the whole
community. That implementation was a bit buggy, but I think it was worth
doing because Edgy is now starting to show promise from an access
perspective. By joining the default distro we benefit from some great
work by 'default' developers, we get a wider distribution and more
exposure. All of which is good for our community.
However, with those benefits also come responsibilities. When we include
these tools in the default desktop we must also make every effort to get
along with the other user groups. Basically that means minimising any
potential negative impact it might have on their computing experience.
These 'other' people are not our 'core users', but do represent 99%+ of
the users of the platform.
Sorry for the long speech (again!). I just wanted to clarify this
perspective. You guys have done a great job in developing Orca. Creating
a screen reader is the hard part; making it fit nicely with the default
desktop is comparatively easy. And part of my role is to bring these
different perspectives together. I'm a big supporter of universal
design, but that must be approached from both sides.
Finally getting to your point: I'm sure sure the key-bindings you have
chosen are good ones for the intended user group. It's just that a few
key functions like turning off the program and perhaps also
settings/general information should be easily discoverable by anyone.
(as an aside: the Insert+key bindings are not accessible to users of
sticky keys ;) )
2/ We are in the process of writing a simple Orca manual page; what
get in a terminal window if you type "man orca". It already has a
to the GNOME Accessibility Guide, but it looks like I should also
section giving all the special Orca commands. I'll add that in tomorrow.
Great, that will help! We can put that on the website
(access.ubuntu.com) and in the on-CD documentation.
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